Who Do You Sue if Your Family Member Died in a Crash with a Semi-Truck?
Have you and your family lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident recently? A car is no match for the weight and force associated with a truck impact. Drivers and their passengers often sustain serious injuries in a truck accident. Unfortunately, many don’t survive. Your family was completely shocked by the events which have unfolded and the wrongful death of your loved one. The experienced and proven fatal truck accident and wrongful death attorneys at the Truck Accident Team provide a free consultation to you and your family to guide you through the legal steps associated with a wrongful death claim. We handle all of the legal details so that you may focus on supporting one another through this tragic loss.
The experienced Philadelphia truck accident attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm have represented truck accident victims and the families of those who have lost loved ones in fatal truck accidents for decades. We hold all responsible parties accountable for the loss of your loved one. Our lawyers fight for the maximum amount of wrongful death compensation from the driver of the truck who caused the accident, the company they were driving for, the company who owns or leases that truck as well as any external company who may have provided fleet maintenance or worked on the truck in the months leading up to the accident. Truck accident cases are legally complex, and our thorough attorneys stand up to the large insurance companies who represent trucking industry interests. We obtain compensation for your loss, the time and intimate memories you will no longer share, lost wages and compensation for any suffering they were forced to endure before they passed. No one can replace your loved one, but the Truck Accident Team help your family to take one of the first steps of holding those responsible financially accountable.
Who can Sue for Truck Accident Deaths?
When someone dies in an accident with a big rig truck, the surviving family members may be able to sue the truck driver and the trucking company for their loved one’s death. This system can be difficult to understand sometimes, and there may be rules as to when you can sue. The specific rules for how this works is determined by each specific state, so talk to an attorney to see whether you can sue for your loved one’s death in your state.
First, there must be a “wrongful death” in order to sue. This means that the deceased was not responsible for his or her own death, and that the truck driver was responsible. In many states, if the accident was caused by the truck driver, that will be sufficient to hold the death against the driver and the trucking company. In some states however, if your deceased loved one was partially at fault for the accident you may be unable to recover compensation for their death. In most states, you will still be able to recover if your lost loved one was partially at fault, but the compensation will be reduced by their proportion of the fault.
Second, you must be related to the deceased person in a way that your state’s law allows for wrongful death suits. In most states, the spouse, child, or parent of the deceased is able to sue for their death. In other states, the “personal representative” or another person appointed in the deceased’s will is able to sue. Some states may extend the ability to sue to others. Understanding your state’s laws is especially important for grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, and nephews who relied upon the deceased for income, care, or housing, since they may be unable to sue. Talk to an attorney to understand your state’s laws.
Lastly, you must bring the lawsuit within the proper time limit. Each state has a “statute of limitations” that puts a time restriction on your wrongful death suit. In most states, the law states that you must file your lawsuit within two years of the accident. Others may extend this to three years, while others state that it must be filed within two years of the death, rather than the truck accident that lead to death.
Compensation for the Death of a Loved One in a Truck Accident
If a loved one is taken too soon by a truck accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. The goal of this compensation is to return the surviving family members to the same financial situation as though the loved one had survived. Obviously, money cannot replace the lost loved one, but it can replace their wages and other financial items.
Compensation for a wrongful death suit can cover the costs of funeral and burial expenses. These are surprisingly expensive, and when they come unexpectedly, they can drain your finances. A lawsuit may help you recover these costs.
If the deceased loved one was responsible for the family’s income (or part of it), you may be able to recover compensation for those lost wages. This often includes the wages your family has already lost due to the loved one’s death as well as the wages your family will not see in the future. You may also receive compensation for things like investments or inheritances that you will not receive because of the death.
Finally, you can be compensated for the losses you personally face. The grief of losing a loved one, the lost counsel from a parent, the lost companionship from a spouse, and other losses may all be compensable in court. Your state’s laws may limit what specific awards are allowed, and what amounts, so talk to an attorney about your case.
National Fatal Truck Accident Attorneys
The lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team fight to help the family of those who died in large truck accidents. Compensation may be available that can keep your family in good financial status, even through the death of the primary income provider. Call (215) 709-6940 today for a free consultation with our attorneys or contact the Truck Accident Team today.